One week from Thursday a local law will be voted on to decide whether wind turbines will be built in the Town of Catlin.
The town board says money from the project would help keep taxes down-but neighbors say they’d rather pay higher taxes then stare at a wind farm in their backyards.
People who live in the Town of Catlin say their picturesque view near their homes is at risk, and soon a wind farm could take its place.
Florida-based Nextera Energy, one of the nation’s largest power providers wants to build 50 to 75 turbines across Catlin.
30 people so far from the town want them on their property– and the revenue that comes with it.
But neighbors who live nearby aren’t very happy.
Paris-born Jean Marc Torres- lives in the Town of Catlin but moved his family here from Canada. He says, “I moved to Catlin because of the wilderness, the beauty of the countryside- I could have chosen Horseheads or Corning downtown- but I want to live somewhere quiet and nice.. out somewhere where you go in your backyard in the afternoon or the evening and you can hear the birds and the wild life.”
Torres himself has a doctorate in alternate technology and has studied Wind turbines in Canada.
He says, “For the little gain in energy you’re getting, there’s a lot of drawbacks.”
Some of those drawbacks include ecological and health, and traffic concerns.
Town of Catlin resident, Joseph Calderone, says “There still is not enough science out there and economics that makes sense to destroy or the pristine landscape that we have around here.”
Some neighbors feel the Catlin Town Board isn’t representing their interests, including Catlin resident Patricia Collins.
She says, “If the companies really want to come here, they better have enough money to pay most of our taxes and do a little upgrading that’s really going to mean something to us.”
The Town Supervisor says a 1400 foot boundary would be put in place from where the property owners home is to where where a windmill can be built.
Next week the board will vote to change the town laws so they can strike a deal with the company.
Town Superviser LaVerne Phelps says, “It’s basically the local law that the wind turbine company would have to follow in order to put the turbines in the Town of Catlin.”
Phelps says Catlin does stand to benefit from the wind mills.
Through the HOST program, the town would get more then $5 thousand dollars per turbine per year, plus a 2 percent increase in revenue every year after that.
This comes as the town stands to lose $100 thousand dollars in sales tax revenue next year.
Phelps says, “If there something that I can do as supervisor to help generate to revenue- to help offset the loss in sales tax- I feel that I am obligated to do that.”
The Town Supervisor says the majority of the tax revenues collected from Nextera under a tax break arrangement known as the PILOT program would go to the Corning-Painted Post School District.
Only 7 percent of the revenue would go to the Town of Catlin.
Both the Town Board and Neighbors in Catlin want people who live in town and in the surrounding areas to come to next week’s board meeting to get opinions on the issue.
That meeting is Thursday, October 9th at 7pm at the Town Hall.
1448 Chambers Rd in Beaver Dams.
To review the 31-page proposal to be voted on at that meeting, visit the Town of Catlin Website: http://townofcatlin.com/
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